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What is the news?
China has started operating the first bullet train line in Tibet, connecting the provincial capital Lhasa with Nyingchi – a strategically located Tibetan border town close to Arunachal Pradesh.
Lhasa-Nyingchi rail line
- Train link would connect the capital city of the Tibet Autonomous Region to the border city of Nyingchi with a travel time of three and a half hours.
- Over 90% of the track is 3000m above sea-level and the line is the first electrified high-speed rail (HSR) line, as China refers to bullet trains, in Tibet. China has the world’s longest HSR network.
- The Lhasa-Nyingchi rail is one section of the Sichuan-Tibet railway line.
- The Sichuan-Tibet Railway line will be the second railway line into Tibet after the Qinghai-Tibet Railway.
Why this latest development is significant for India?
India is following the development of the new railway closely because of it’s proximity to Arunachal Pradesh. As per a report,
- Enhanced mobility for PLA: The railway route will enable China to quickly mobilize personnel of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and other defense resources in the event of a border escalation with India, like the border standoff in eastern Ladakh in May 2020.
- Developing border villages: China has sought to empower ‘border villages‘ in the areas bordering India’s Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim states, especially after the Doklam standoff in 2017.
Source: The Hindu